Have you ever heard the term "acne vulgaris"? If you think it sounds pretty gross and like a very nasty condition. Perhaps you imagine a condition that afflicts the private areas of the body. Well, not so fast.
Letís take a look at what this term means and try to get a scientific understanding so that you can understand if you have this condition or not. Join with me as we take a quick journey through the terminology of acne vulagris to determine if it's different than typical acne, and ultimately how to treat it properly.
Let's first look at the definition of the term acne vulgaris.
Vulgaris is a term that simply means something that is common or ordinary. I know, I know, the word vulgar comes from vulgaris. So how do you get common from that? Iím glad you asked. Remember that word meanings usually go back decades if not even hundreds of years when people behaved differently and had different expectations than they do today.
So vulgaris simply means something that is so common or ordinary that it is thought of as being low-class. Someone that says something is vulgar is saying something that is not appropriate in polite company. We may not think of the term "common" as being something that should be looked down upon, but an off-color joke was thought to be something that only "common" people understood and not something shared among those that were of the upper classes, so it was "vulgar." Hope you enjoyed that little romp down word meaning lane!
But getting back to acne vulgaris, the point is that the term vulgaris simply refers to common or everyday acne. Point in fact, most doctors don't even use the term acne vulgaris and simply refer to acne as acne.
It's also important to understand though that there are different forms of acne, and acne vulgaris is different from cystic acne. Cystic acne has pimples that contain bacteria that go very deep under the skin and is usually the most severe form of acne, often leaving very deep scars even while a person still has breakouts. People having cystic acne need to see a doctor to get a prescription for antibiotics so that they can address the bacteria that goes so deep that topical ointments don't fix it. With acne vulgaris or ordinary acne, you can usually take care of it with topical solutions, eating right and a good skincare regimen.
Now donít get me wrong, this doesn't mean that acne vulgaris or any form of acne is something to be dismissed. Even common everyday breakouts can be very difficult for those who suffer from them, and not all respond to treatment the way they should. More serious or more common breakouts may also need a prescription for antibiotics if they don't respond to topical medications such as benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid, common ingredients in most acne treatment options.
When confronted with acne vulgaris that doesn't go away or respond to topical ointments doctors can also recommend procedures such as micro-dermabrasion, light therapy, laser therapy, or other acne treatments like these, you might want to try something different or see a dermatologist. Many dermatologists specialize in acne treatment and can really help a patient by creating a complete program for treating and preventing acne. So whether you have acne vulgaris you have cystic acne and even if you're not sure, see your doctor, check out some online resources and programs and get some treatment for you. Youíll be glad you did.